Confident, Union Closes All Recruiting Offices

March 30, 1862/2012
Volume 3, Issue 13 (77 Issues Since 15 October 2010)

Confident, Union Closes All Recruiting Offices

April 3, 1862. Optimistic in light of General McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign beginning against Richmond, Grant’s victories in the west, and a tactical defeat of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton concluded that current Union forces would be sufficient to bring the war to a victorious conclusion, and ordered all Union recruiting offices closed. They did not remain closed for long.

Recruiting for the war -- scene at the recruiting tents in the park, New York. Illustration in Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper, March 19, 1864, p. 404. Courtesy Library of Congress

Recruiting for the war — scene at the recruiting tents in the park, New York. Illustration in Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, March 19, 1864, p. 404. Courtesy Library of Congress

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director

SOURCE

The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War, Margaret E. Wagner, ed., p. 56.


Senate Votes to Abolish Slavery in Washington, D.C., But . . .

Also on April 3, the United States Senate voted 29 to 14 to outlaw slavery in the District of Columbia. The significance of the event lay in its precedent and in the growth of anti-slavery sentiment which it reflected. The number of slaves freed was small: of the District of Columbia’s population of 220,000, only 63 were slaves. 1

The depth and scope of that support for emancipation was limited, however. The next day, The New York Times wrote that even some of the Senators voting in favor of outlawing slavery in the District objected to parts of the bill. Their objections give us in the twenty-first century a sense of attitudes about emancipation at that stage of the war.

The New York Times observed, “Some deprecated its effect upon the Border States. Others would have had the subject referred to a vote of the whites in the District. Others still would have made the emancipation gradual and provided for the removal of the blacks from the country. But the adherence of the majority to the bill as reported from the Committee, was too steadfast to be shaken. The only modification accepted was one appropriating $100,000 for the colonization of the liberated negroes. . . .”

The editors of The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865 add, “In fact, an amendment to the bill that would have required compulsory emigration of all blacks from the District failed only when Vice President Hannibal Hamlin broke a 19-19 tie.”

The bill then went to the House of Representatives for its consideration. The April 4 1862 Times article noted that a generation had passed since Congressman and former President John Quincy Adams had presented proposals to abolish slavery in the District. It was his repeated efforts that had caused the House to pass, in January 1840, the so-called “gag rule,” which forbade any abolition petitions from being read on the floor of the House. When Adams attempted to present such a petition anyway, he was held in contempt and, the newspaper noted indignantly, placed “at the bar of the House for trial, as if guilty of treason.” 2

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director   

NOTE: Scroll down on the link to the April 4 1862 Times article. While the site is a paid site, it does allow for the viewing of three newspapers for free. You can see the actual article by zooming on the picture.  

SOURCES

1.  1400 Days, The US Civil War Day by Day, Chris Bishop and Ian Drury, eds., p. 74

2.  The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865, Harold Holzer and Craig L. Symonds, eds., p. 151

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Filed under Civil War Book of Days: 1862

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